Interior design is not just about creating something pretty. It’s also about solving problems and making homes more functional.
My role as an expert problem solver was called into play with a recent Dallas interior design job that took a dull and dated ranch-style house and totally refreshed it with bespoke, bright transitional design. The owner, a widow and grandmother, loves her neighborhood and, more important, the memories her house holds. But what she didn’t love was a choppy floorplan and an interior that didn’t serve her cooking and entertaining hobbies. She called in my team and me at Barbara Gilbert Interiors to create a family- and pet-friendly home with lots of storage, an open kitchen, and appealing design.
The problem here was one of form and function, and after extensive interviews and conversations, as well as reviewing the “homework” done by the owner, we came up with a plan that solved all those issues. (I’ve included some “before” photos so you can see where we started!)
This was a whole-house remodel and we took a lot of photos, so I’m breaking this “reveal” into two blog posts. This week, the dining room, living room, and family room. Next week, the kitchen, office, master bedroom, and master bathroom. I’ve included lots of information about brands in the captions in case you were wondering.
Without further ado, let’s dive in with the dining room. In typical ranch-style architecture, this was a closed-off room with doors leading to the kitchen. No more! We took some space for the kitchen and opened it up so the two flowed into each other effortlessly, which makes sense in terms of entertaining and eating. And who wouldn’t want to see this new room more clearly? So fun with shimmering wallpaper, contemporary and sculptural chandelier, espresso wood sideboard, white table for six, and custom upholstered chairs.
Immediately to the left of the entryway and connected to the dining room, the front living room is a more formal space with the baby grand piano as its anchoring piece. With neutral colors as the backdrop, I used an emerald green as a secondary pop of color. Shades of that green and blue-greens show up in the hand-knotted rug, piano bench, throw pillows, and custom art over the sofa.
Similar to the dining room, there is a shimmery wallpaper as a backdrop for art. Also like the dining room, and throughout the house, I’ve mixed metals. Never let anyone tell you that it’s impossible to do that successfully! Warmer golds and cooler silvers are natural friends in a transitional design like this.
A big part of making this house pet- and kid-friendly was our use of textiles. I appreciate Crypton and Sunbrella products because they are resistant to stains, liquids, and odors, making them both lovely and functional. Everything else, we treated with Fiber-Seal.
The family room toward the back of the house got a huge transformation, too. Before, the space had wood paneling and a wall dividing it from the galley kitchen. The overall feeling was dated and dark, even with a skylight. We removed the wall between family room and kitchen to create a more modern floorplan and the paneling was history! Across the room, we reconfigured the built-ins as they felt unbalanced and drove the owner crazy. Lots of shelves and cabinets create tons of storage, one of our goals.
These things alone would have solved a lot of the family room’s problems, but we went further, cladding the fireplace in a dimensional, cream-colored tile from floor to ceiling. It looks almost luminous with the light streaming in from above and bouncing off it, which also further brightens the room.
The neutral backdrop throughout this room creates a wonderful stage for pops of color, like blue-green and a yellow-green. Again, I mixed metals and included custom artwork in the transitional design. Normally, I don’t much like ceiling fans, but the one we chose brings a sleek vibe in a warm silver metal.
Don’t forget to check back next week to see the second part of this transitional design. In the meantime, please leave us a comment here or over on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you think so far!
We bring years of experience creating inspired, gorgeous interiors to our clients — contact Barbara Gilbert Interiors today at 214-641-7897 or via the website contact form. We offer DFW home design services in Dallas 75229, Preston Hollow 75230, Frisco 75034, McKinney 75069, Allen 75002, and many other cities — please see the list of the areas we serve.
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